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Dr. Ahrens had completed his courses for a master’s degree in biochemistry at University of Texas A&M in the area of nutrition when he was accepted into veterinary school. He quit graduate school and immediately enrolled in veterinary college. His interest in nutrition has remained during his career as a veterinarian. This interest and his years of consultations with Dr. Wessels, a DVM with a PhD in physiology/nutrition that lives in upstate New York, concerning specific patient’s nutritional needs has allowed our clinic to keep up with current scientific breakthroughs in nutrition and diets. This is one of the reasons our clinic offers organic fresh frozen foods for pets with no preservatives, sugars, or dyes. If clients choose to use a commercial prepared kibble, Dr. Ahrens stresses the importance of quality meat based diets without harmful chemicals.
While his duties at VMDAH are primarily research and management, he is still keenly interested in the everyday healthcare for your beloved pets. Dr. Ahrens has brought innovative technologies to VMDAH such as in house stem cell treatments, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy, and the latest in cold laser supportive therapy. Dr. Ahrens continues his education by working on becoming certified in Homeopathy amongst other modalities. He is a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Harris County Veterinary Medical Association, Montgomery County Veterinary Medical Association, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Veterinary Acupuncturist, and International Veterinary Association of Pain Management.
Dr Ayala joined Veterans Memorial Drive Animal Hospital in August 2011. Dr. Ayala is bilingual which helps in medical information relay to our Spanish speaking clients. Dr Ayala is the doctor who does our stem surgeries. Dr. Ayala is taking advanced continuing education to be able to provide surgeries at VMDAH. He graduated from Louisiana State University in 2010. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Harris County Veterinary Medical Association, and a MediVet Accredited Adipose Stem Cell Practitioner.
Dr. Mary Alissa Crist graduated from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. After graduation, Dr. Crist practiced in Odessa, Texas (her home area) and then moved to Houston, Texas, to become an associate in 1993 at Veterans Memorial Drive Animal Hospital. Dr. Mary A. Crist was also a clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in College Station, Texas. Dr. Mary Alissa Crist is a published author and has spoken at many veterinary conferences. She has combined her academic career and her veterinary clinical practice to provide the highest quality veterinary care to all her patients. She provides both Eastern and Western medicine for Veterans Memorial Drive Animal Hospital. Dr. Crist is certified in veterinary acupuncture with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, Chinese herbology, and is an associate member of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. She held a director position for the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management which supports her passion for animal pain management and rehabilitation something very near and dear to her heart.
Dr. Mary Alissa Crist has a special interest in performance and sports medicine. She is involved in competitive dog obedience and conformation and is the proud owner of “Rennie” (GCH CH Courtwood Whirly Girl), a two year old Irish setter, who is ranked in the top 10 and treated with holistic veterinary care. She also competes with “Shimmers” (JMK She Shimmers), her palomino horse, which is also under her holistic health care.
Dr. Crist enjoys spending quality time with her husband (Jeff) and her two step-daughters (Debbie and Leslie) and her two grandchildren (Tiffany and Brian). She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Harris County Veterinary Medical Association, American Holistic Medical Association, American Association of Veterinary Acupuncture, International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, and the Irish Setter Club of America.
He will be sorely missed by all our staff, his clients, family and friends. He passed away in December 2008 from kidney cancer.
Tony Miranda, Penn Hip Cert. - Practice Manager. The buck stops here. He is responsible for the day-to-day management and staffing of VMDAH. Although he has only been involved in veterinary medicine for 15 years, he has advanced through every non-veterinary position the clinic has to offer. He has worked with and been around animals since he was a child. He has completed over 100 hours in equine anatomy, physiology, and neurology, from the Vluggen Institute of Equine Osteopathy in 2008. Althogh not a veterinarian he has also completed advanced courses in veterinary dentistry, critical care, radiology, anesthesiology, and management. He is currently in charge of scheduling, inventory, and administration, stem cell processing, and PRP preparation.
In his time away from the clinic, Tony currently concentrates on hoof health through barefoot methods and other modalities available. Tony dedicates time to farrier work and education, equine health, trail riding and horse training. His wife, four children, multiple horses, cats, and dogs keep him very busy when he's not at the clinic.
Maria is a registered veterinary technician and is working full time at VMDAH. As you can imagine, her schedule is full. She is bilingual and has enough on-the-job training that she can handle anything that goes on in the treatment and surgery area, plus she has completed an advanced course in veterinary dentistry. She loves pets and has dedicated her life to animals by choosing this as a career. She and her husband have adopted strays and now have at least four dogs and a cat. Her value to our clinic can't be measured.
Alejandra started her internship with us in 2011 while finishing her vet tech program. When she was done with the course in 2012 when we hired her on as a team member. She is currently working on her state board to become a licensed veterinary technician.